Self-driving cars are a great idea in terms of convenience and potentially safety once they become the norm, but it seems that for businesses, self-driving vehicles might also be better in terms of efficiency. This is according to TuSimple, a company focused on self-driving tech for heavy-duty trucks.
The company wanted to find out how self-driving trucks compared against trucks driven by humans, and so they loaded a truck with watermelons and drove it from Arizona to Oklahoma. The truck had a human driver that took control of the wheel for the first 60 or so miles, but after that it was driven entirely by the computer.
According to the driving time, the truck took about 14 hours and 6 minutes to complete the journey. This is 10 hours faster than if a human driver were to do it, which based on an estimate, would have taken 24 hours and 6 minutes. This is pretty crazy because it means that delivery times can be shaved off massively, which in turn could help companies restock faster, manufacture goods faster, and so on.
The results aren’t that surprising though. This is because humans need rest and there is a law that prevents truck drivers from being on the road for longer than 14 consecutive hours, meaning that at some point in time, they will have to stop and rest, which no doubt adds to the overall trip’s duration.